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A Fishing Gift that Keeps on Giving

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A Fishing Gift that Keeps on Giving

All Inclusive Fishing Package

Fish for walleye, northern pike, lake trout, smallmouth bass and muskie. Package includes two 16-food Lund boats, fishing guide, fresh shore lunch, accommodations, all meals, maid service, all fuel, fish cleaning, packaging and freezing.
From $1318 per person based on party of 4
Catching a muskie in Northern Ontario is at the top of every angler’s bucket list and the fastest way to make your dream come true is to hire a guide. • Credit: Gord Pyzer

Plan your next fishing trip in Northern Ontario

Safely discover Ontario when the time is right. For the most up-to-date information on where and when it is safe to travel please visit: covid-19.ontario.ca.

Do your part by following public health advice. It is important to wear a face mask or covering, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

In case you haven't noticed, there are only a few weeks left before Christmas. And I am betting that more than a few of us are wondering what do we get the angler who has everything? Or, what is the perfect gift for the novice on our list? Maybe, you're even pondering how to really impress the family this holiday season.

In all cases, the answer is the same: a fishing trip to Northern Ontario. The choices are mind boggling, as are the many options that accommodate every budget and species of fish, from walleye, bass and muskies to northern pike, salmon and speckled trout.

Indeed, how cool is this: next year will represent the 100th anniversary of Dr. J.W. Cook's world record speckled trout. Cook caught the magnificent 14.5-pound leviathan in the Nipigon River on July 21, 1915.

The Nipigon River is one of my favourite places on earth but I can't imagine standing in the river, or fishing from a boat, on that same day 100 years later. Just thinking about it sends a shiver up my spine, not the least because the speckled trout fishing is as good today as it was when Cook caught his 31.5-inch behemoth 100 years ago.

Fish 'N Canada Television host Angelo Viola releases a beautiful speckled trout that he caught in the Nipigon River. Next year will represent the 100th anniversary of Dr. J.W. Cook's 14.5-pound world record trout. Is there anywhere else you'd rather be? (Photo credit: Fish'n Canada)

Then again, Cook didn't have the many speckled trout options that we are blessed with today, so what alternatives might we consider? How about flying in to one of the resorts or outpost camps on the Albany River, Sutton River or Halley Lake?

Or, booking one of the unique charter boats that ply massive Lake Nipigon, the largest lake entirely within Ontario, or the north shore of Lake Superior, the largest lake in the world? You live onboard the ships like kings and queens, fishing in secluded bays and coves from smaller boats during the day. Talk about distinctive.

On the other hand, if you're a muskie angler, you know two things. The first is that "everything else" is bait. The second is that Northern Ontario is the "holy grail", with marquee waterways like Lake Nipissing, Lake Nosbonsing, French River, Lac Seul, Eagle Lake, Wabigoon Lake, Lake of the Woods, Winnipeg River and Rainy Lake.;

Put your best friend (or yourself) in the picture when you give them a fishing trip to Northern Ontario. Think these Chaudière Lodge guests are happy?

I mention this because no matter where I am speaking with folks, at fishing seminars or sport shows, invariably someone will always ask. . ."How do I go about catching a muskie?"

It seems the legendary "fish of 10,000 casts" sits atop almost every angler's bucket list. And I always answer the same way. Head to Northern Ontario and you'll be blown away.

And the neat thing about it is that you have so many budgetary options.

If you've never caught a muskie, for example, and have none of the necessary equipment, hiring a top notch guide for a day or two will have you turning your head in disbelief.

And the price is ridiculously affordable.

Indeed, imagine standing on the waterfront dock of the Lakeside Inn and Convention Centre in downtown Kenora, and watching muskie guru Dave Bennett, or Darcy Cox, idle in to pick up you and your buddy as the sun rises in the morning.

You'll be muskie fishing for the rest of the day on the best spots, on one of the greatest muskie lakes in the world, equipped with the finest boat, motor and fishing tackle money can buy.

Talk about “a can't-fail” crash course in muskie fishing.

And if you twist their arms even slightly, they'll stop an hour or so before noon, let you catch a couple of walleyes and then prepare the finest shorelunch you've ever eaten. And you'll pay less for the world class experience than you would if you went out for a ho-hum rubber chicken dinner and a play, or to a sporting event.

And that is only one option.

When you give your favourite angler a Northern Ontario fishing trip this Christmas, this is what they have to look forward to -- the boat’s ready -- let’s go fishing!

If you've already been bitten by the muskie bug, you'll want to consider booking a longer stay at a five star resort like Chaudière Lodge on the French River, where you'll be pampered with plush accommodations, maid service, gourmet meals accompanied with fine wine, hot tubs, daily shorelunches that are to die for, and guides running brand new boats and motors equipped with the latest high tech sonar.

Still not exotic enough, you say?

Okay then, fly into a heaven-on-earth location like Nielsen's Lodge on Rowan Lake.

Believe it or not, Northern Ontario is the only place on earth where you can find fly-in muskie fishing options. Everything from day trips to outpost camps to five star resorts.

Of course, we've only been talking about muskies and speckled trout up to this point.  You have even more options and alternatives if your fancy is walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike and lake trout.

It is the reason Northern Ontario, with more than 400,000 lakes and 2/5ths of all the freshwater on earth, is the gift that keeps on giving!

This is called “roughing it in velvet” – your own private cottage at Chaudière Lodge on the famous French River.  Just enough time to freshen up and hit the main lodge for dinner!
This is called "roughing it in velvet" -- your own private cottage at Chaudière Lodge on the famous French River. Just enough time to freshen up and hit the main lodge for dinner!

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